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Thursday, February 9, 2017

PRE-PUB BLOG TOUR: Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson - Spotlight + EPIC EXCERPT!

Hey guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

I've got a SPECIAL treat for you today...not that the other days aren't special, but this one has a little something more.  Curious?  Good.  That's just how I want you to be.  Part one of said treat is in the announcement of the tour we're featuring today.  It comes to us via Walden Pond Press (love those guys!) and stars the first book in The Chronicle of the Dark Star series, releasing this Tuesday, February 14th, 2017!  That's right.  It's a PRE-PUB PAR-TAY up in here...sorry, couldn't resist...and we're ready to shine the spotlight on the featured title.  Ready or not, here comes today's book of choice...

The Chronicle of the Dark Star, Book 1
Kevin Emerson
Walden Pond Press

About the book...
It is Earth Year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova far sooner than anyone expected.

The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while preparing for a second trip: a 150-year journey to Aaru-5, a distant star, humanity’s best guess at a good spot for a new home.

Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology to ensure humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.

Or so he thinks. Because before the last day on Mars is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space and find out that the human race is just one of many in the universe locked in a dangerous struggle for survival. Kevin Emerson has written the first book in an ambitious space epic—a powerful, emotional, pulse-pounding story of the final days of humanity’s first home beyond Earth, and the desperate search for another.


Advance praise...

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“Enigmatic enemies, sabotage, space travel, and short, bone-wracking bits of time travel make for a banging adventure.” Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
“Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative. Like a lovechild of Gravity and The Martian, it's a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced, that balances action, science, humor, and most importantly, two compelling main characters in Liam and Phoebe. A fantastic start to an epic new series.” —Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of the School for Good and Evil series
“Emerson's writing explodes off the page in this irresistible space adventure, filled with startling plot twists, diabolical aliens, and (my favorite!) courageous young heroes faced with an impossible task.” —Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of the Unwanteds series


Still not convinced?
Not a problem.
You know me, I come prepared. we come to PART TWO of the aforementioned "special treat"...

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What?  Oh, I see, you think it's just another excerpt.  Well sir and madam, you'd be wrong.  You see, THIS excerpt happens to be THE ORIGINAL PROLOGUE written (and copyright owned) by the man himself (author Kevin Emerson) and shared with permission from the fab team at Walden Pond Press (THANKS GUYS!  You rock!).  You're welcome.



Earth Date: 2198

They did it for the children.
That was what they told themselves. For their children, and their children’s children, and all the generations of humans to come.
They did it to be sure.
Because for the last thirty years, there had been very little to be certain of. Ever since the scientists had first discovered that the Sun was changing: growing, faster and sooner than it ever should have.
All stars go through a life cycle. The humans had known for a long time that eventually their Sun, a medium yellow star, would run out of fuel. It would then expand briefly into a red giant, before shrinking to a white dwarf. That red giant would swallow the inner planets, including Earth. Someday, the human race would have to find a new home.
But that someday was supposed to be in five or six billion years.
It wasn’t supposed to be happening now.
And that wasnt even the worst part: according to the models—and there had been thousands of models—the sun wasn’t just going to grow into a red giant, it was going to become a red super giant.
And what did red super giants do? They went supernova: a cosmic explosion that would wipe out the entire solar system.
And it was going to happen in twenty five years, at best. Maybe less.
And so, after a brief period of panic and chaos, humanity had united on an unprecedented scale, putting aside their differences in order to find a way to escape from the exploding sun in time.
The first step was to buy time. Humanity would need massive spaceships, thousands of them, but there wasnt time to build them on Earth. Constructing them on Mars would buy them about ten more years, and that might just be enough time to get everyone out of the solar system before the supernova.
In the previous two hundred or so years, humans had managed to establish a basic colony on Mars. There were retirement communities on the moon. A casino at Saturn called The Rings of Gold. Also, a geothermal spa on Jupiters moon of Europa.  There had been advancements in rocket technology, fission rockets that had shortened the trip to Mars from six months to three weeks. You could invest in mining property on Venus. Humans had just started imagining a larger expansion into their home solar system.but none of that mattered anymore.
First came  hundred thousand space elevators, reaching into Earth’s orbit, then the new plasma burst fission rockets that made the Earth-to-Mars trip in sixteen hours. The cargo ferry system, followed by the temporary colonies on Mars, and finally the largest construction project in the history of the world: the great space docks. Ten thousand transport ships—the Starliners—and a hundred thousand more military cruisers and private craft, being constructed in orbit around Mars. The first fleet was nearly ready to launch, and hundreds more would follow.
But before that, before humanity could leave their doomed solar system forever, a team of scientists on a space station high above Earth had to make one last decision.
“Sir, it’s your call.”
Gerald Saunders gazed at a holographic map. It showed a great cloud of space. Thousands of stars. An entire quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. A bright blue line zigzagged across the map, connecting a series of blue dots. Each was a fueling stop. The fission engines in the Starliners would need water to operate. This water could be mined from planets, moons, and asteroids. They were relatively certain that the first few stops would provide them with the water theyd need, but the further ones were just best-guesses.
The blue line began at Mars, then crossed space, skirting black holes and slipping through nebula, and ending at a small planet in the Cygnus arm of the Milky Way galaxy. This was the place that humans had chosen as their one hope for survival:
Gerald glanced again at the pad in his hand. All of their test results were conclusive. The temperature, atmospheric composition, gravitational forces, and water content were within acceptable limits for sustaining human life.  As least as far as they could tell. How well could they know a place when they couldn’t see it, smell, hear, touch or taste it? All they could do was read data from telescopes, snippets of light and radio waves, and make guesses.
Still, Gerald and his team were as certain as they could ever be: This was the place. Aaru-5 would be their new home.
Gerald looked over his shoulder, out the bay window behind him. He saw the wide curve of planet Earth. The beautiful blues and whites he remembered from childhood were long gone. All that remained of the once-mighty oceans were brown canyons with lime green strips of still water, like puddles after rain. There were no frozen poles. No clouds.
It was no longer the home they knew.
He turned back to his team. “Does everyone agree?” he asked quietly.  
The others standing around the interstellar map nodded one-by-one.
“If this is humanity’s only chance,” said Samar, the chief analyst, “we can’t afford to take any risks.”
Gerald bit his lip. “Right.” Of the millions of planets they’d studied, Aaru-5 was the only one with anything even close to Earth’s conditions for life. And even with all that, they would still need to do substantial terraforming when they arrived. The terraforming technology hadn’t even been invented yet. Initial studies were underway, but for now theyd been putting all their efforts into the life-support conditions on the Starliners. That would be Phase Two of his team’s research. Theyd figure it out (hopefully) once they got to Mars.
But, one thing at a time.
They still needed to decide about Phase One.
Because just getting to Aaru-5 would be risky enough. It was going to take one hundred and fifty year, a journey across hundreds of millions of miles of darkness, hiding black holes, asteroids, and who knew what else. And if Aaru wouldn’t work, the next closest possible planet was another three hundred years beyond that.
Everyone already knew: there was no way they’d have enough fuel and supplies to make it that far. It was Aaru, or extinction.
“I still think it’s wrong,” said a bitter voice from across the room.
Gerald glanced at Charles Onatu. They’d been colleagues since the colonial academy. Charles had been against this plan from the start. “I want to go on the record once more that I disagree. That there has to be another way.”
“Charles,” said their teammate, Katarina, “If we spend any more time trying to come up with another solution, we are going to burn.”
“Like I said,” repeated Charles, “I know you’re not going to listen.”
“It’s not a matter of listening, Charles, it’s a simple fact…”
Others joined in. As the angry voices swelled, Gerald found a woman across the room: Lana Chang, his wife and research partner. Her dark brown eyes were rimmed with tears. Gerald noticed that her hand had unconsciously dropped to her stomach, where she rubbed lightly in a half moon shape. Her belly had been growing almost as fast as the sun….
“All right, enough,” Gerald said over the bickering voices. The room quieted. “This is our plan. You’ve all seen the data. You know we don’t have a choice. I wish we did.”
He paused, almost hoping someone else might pick a fight.
No one did.
“Okay, then.” He keyed the station-wide com link. “Initiate Phase One. On my mark…”
The star map winked out, and everyone turned to the window across the room that looked out over the space station.
The floor began to rumble. A bright light grew as the boosters of six giant rockets fired to life. Scaffolding fell away, transport shuttles disengaged. Safety lights flashed.
Gerald took a deep breath. He glanced once more at Lana, the rockets illuminating her tears, her hand still moving back and forth.
“Fire,” said Gerald.
The six slim, powerful rockets shot free into space like a cluster of shooting stars. With no humans to keep alive or supplies to carry, they could make the journey to Aaru in just fifteen years. With any luck, Gerald and his team would have some data on whether Phase One was a success before they’d even left Mars.
They all watched silently out the window until the rockets were just tiny dots of light, indistinguishable from the ocean of stars. Humanity was officially on its way to Aaru….
If they could get out of the sun’s way in time.


About the author...

Kevin Emerson is the author of The Fellowship for Alien Detection as well as the Exile series, the Atlanteans series, the Oliver Nocturne series, and Carlos is Gonna Get It. He is also an acclaimed musician who has recorded songs for both children and adults. A former K-8 science teacher, Kevin lives with his family in Seattle.



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Special thanks to the fab team at Walden Pond Press for the chance to participate in this tour as well as the copy for review (coming at a future date!).  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to release FEBRUARY 14th, 2017, so preorder your copy now, or mark your calendar!  In the mean time, don't miss the other WONDERFUL stops on this tour featuring reviews, guest posts, and the like...

Jan. 27th  Unleashing Readers 
Jan. 30th  SciFi Chick
Feb. 6th  Word Spelunking 
Feb. 7th  Novel Novice
Feb.  8th  Charlotte's Library
Feb. 10th  Librarian's Quest 

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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